UK ban on LTTE to prevail
COLOMBO: Visiting British Minister Dr. Kim Howells asserted
there was no likelihood of de-proscribing the LTTE which still continues
to use terrorism as a mode for winning their demands.
“This will not happen while the LTTE continues to use terrorism. The
targeting of civilians make the case ever more strongly that our
decision to proscribe the LTTE was totally justified.”
“Before we change our views on this the LTTE must renounce violence
in word and deed,” the junior minister who concluded a two-day visit
here yesterday said in a statement issued last afternoon.
Referring to the military action in the North-East, Howell said the
perception that fire should be dealt with fire was ‘wrong’.
“For the last 24 years the front lines have moved north and south
along the A9, but neither side has been able to win a decisive victory,”
he observed adding that even if there was a victory for Government
forces a political solution was a must to prevent the recurrence of an
This they have learnt from the bitter experience of the Northern
“The Army could contain the terrorist campaign, but it could not
address the causes.”
He said a security led response to terrorism can end up strengthening
the terrorists. This was again a bitter lesson they have learnt in
Northern Ireland where the introduction of internment without trial in
1971 resulted in a sudden boost in the IRA’s recruitments.
“I’m sure that similarly the reports of human rights abuses and
civilian deaths are being used by the LTTE to win arguments and raise
money’ among the Tamil people here and aborad,” Howells said
highlighting the negative impact it will have on the country’s image.
Raising the matter of Human rights the junior minister said the issue
would also make it difficult for the international community to extend
the political support the Government needs.
He said British wanted to see Sri Lanka remain as a single country,
like India and Indonesia where they have formed prosperous and united
nations out of diverse linguistic and religious groups.
Howells during this third visit to Sri Lanka met the President and
the Opposition Leader.